Gorsuch To Hear Missouri Religious Liberty Case
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch will don his black robes for the first time this week, in the first test for Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick.
At another point, however, when Landau argued that his client was not asking the court to establish a precedent, Gorsuch interjected with, "No, just continue to make it up". It may have been Gorsuch's first argument, but Alito stole the show with his complaints to Fletcher about how "unbelievably complicated" the governing statute is. For example, Gorsuch will take over the court's internal Cafeteria Committee, dealing with the vexing questions of food service in the building. Gorsuch asked (in the TL;dr version).
In the third case of the day, which the court heard arguments for in the afternoon after an hour break, the justices weighed the rules for the timely filing of individual claims from class members who opt out of a securities class action lawsuit.
Lastly, for a shot biography, including affiliations and past positions, you can look at Justice Gorsuch's profile on Westlaw. The justices had removed one chair from the bench after Scalia died more than 14 months ago. He did not interrupt his colleagues and, numerous times, followed up on questions they had asked or attempted to circle back to their questions when a lawyer may have edged around a straight answer.
The court must decide if a case over discrimination heads to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or the federal district court. As is the tradition in an institution that operates on seniority, he was seated at the end of the bench on the left side of Chief Justice John Roberts, who sits at the center. One of the lawyers who will be arguing is Neal Katyal, who introduced Gorsuch at his confirmation hearing.
"It gives me great pleasure on behalf of myself and my colleagues to welcome Justice Gorsuch as the 101st associate justice of this court", Roberts said in very brief remarks as the court was called to order at 10 a.m.
Preparing for arguments is likely to be the easy part for Gorsuch, given his decade on a federal appeals court in Denver, says Alexander "Sasha" Volokh, a professor at Emory University School of Law who served as a law clerk for Sandra Day O'Connor and for Alito during his first term.
Gorsuch, 49, succeeds one his heroes, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who famously insisted the court should decide cases based on the literal words of the law, not its objective or how it has been interpreted by lower courts.
Justice Neil Gorsuch made his big debut in the Supreme Court's marble courtroom on Monday.
"It's not unreasonable to think that Congress used the English language according to its conventions", he wrote, before proceeding to explain each verb in the statute and how the adverbial prepositional phrases modify them.